For once, Justin Timberlake says with a sigh, he doesn’t have to be center stage.
«I’m enjoying being able to be in New York and L.A. and not seeing them from the back seat of a sports utility vehicle because I’m on my way to an interview or a show,» says the 27-year-old performer.
«That’s the thing about putting out an album. You travel, and you travel on a pretty big schedule. You don’t get to enjoy the places.»
The truth is, this break isn’t exactly a break. It’s just that Timberlake has so many side hustles (a new fashion line, acting, charity efforts, signing new acts to his label, writing for other musicians) that his own music has had to take a back seat.
He hosts the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament Oct. 13-19 in Las Vegas, and he will be master of ceremonies for a charity concert Oct. 17 at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood. On the bill are Rihanna, Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, Leona Lewis, 50 Cent, Adam Levine from Maroon 5, Boyz II Men and the Jonas Brothers. Other acts may sign up, he says.
Golf is like therapy, he says. He started playing about six years ago.
«I’m obviously a huge golf nut, and I’ve been looking to get involved with the PGA and possibly host a tournament. I pitched them on a conference call. I thought it was a great fit … so we just worked it out.»
Earlier this month, the spring line for the William Rast brand, which he designs with business partner Trace Ayala, made its debut at New York Fashion Week.
«I felt like it went really well. I unfortunately came down with a sinus infection the day of the fashion show, so that was awesome,» he jokes. «I feel like we made a statement to say, ‘This is who we are.’ I think we can elaborate on that and move forward.»
Timberlake performed with Beyoncé at Fashion Rocks in New York Sept. 5, and soon after, word got out that the two were working together on her third solo LP, scheduled to be released in November. He says he has written a couple of tracks for her, but he isn’t sure how many will end up on the album — or if they’ll sing a duet.
«We’re still in the process of that, and she has a lot that she’s doing,» he says. «I know what it’s like to be in that stage where you’re juggling so much to get a project out. It’s hectic. So my mission is to make it as easy as possible on her. I love her to death and think she’s great. And obviously, she has an amazing gift with that voice and presence.»
Timberlake also is writing for Atlanta rapper T.I., who is expected to release a new album before the year’s end.
«I have a lot on my plate. I have other things that I really want to get into. I think something as big as an album for myself is such a big deal. It’s not something I can nonchalantly throw in,» he says.
«I never want to push it. I never want to do it just to do it. When the time is right and it becomes undeniable … just your whole energy that you put into it means that much more, and it’ll come out that much better.»
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